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Can a Flex remote station work with Elon Musks new Starlink broadband internet?

Hi.. I'm new here and working out how to set up a remote station using a Flex. The station is located is a very poor 4G service area, that works when the wind blows the right way! Hi. We have changed to Starlink which is great but not sure how it would go for remote station. Any experience and comments would be very helpful.. thanks Phil

Best Answers

  • Val  DM1TX
    Val DM1TX Member ✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Hi Phil.

    I see no good reason why Starlink would not work. We have test it extensively here routing business traffic which is in many ways more restrictive (Enterprise VPN etc) thank Smartlink. We have some remote contruction project sites aout of 4G/3G range. In a weird kind of way (being a sattelite link and all) we found that Starlink was more reliable than local 4G backup link. What you have to take into account is that is no guaranteed service so you should expect some downtime and such being a residential service.

    Nevertheless I am also curious if some of the community members have test it.


    DM1TX Val

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    Answer ✓

    As StarLink is sold today, no.

    StarLink uses Carrier Grade NAT which does not work with the design of SmartLink. This means that you, the user, cannot initiate an inbound connection to the radio. They do this for several reasons, but in our case it is impossible to create a Peer to Peer connection from the end user to the radio. They likely don't want servers (which our radios are considered as) inside their network to limit load and data movement. You may want to review their Terms and Conditions.

    CGNAT in simple terms: the carrier is doing the NAT upstream instead of you doing it locally. There's a lot more to it when you're running the carrier, but relevant to you as a user: this means when you want inbound traffic to make it to your devices, you can't just setup a port forward on your local device. There are many fixes that can be done by the client application (ideal, but not quick and often beyond user control) or hacked together by the carrier (inevitable for common apps/protocols). So yes, CGNAT may cause problems for obscure things, if inbound connections are required.

    Their are many ways around this, but they require intermediate servers and it will impact latency and performance and that isn't good for real time HF communications.


  • Phil VK2ASD
    Phil VK2ASD Member, Unconfirmed
    Hi Mike. Thanks for the detailed reply. Looks like I might need to put up a 4G yagi and see if I can get a decent service.
  • SM6WET Magnus
    SM6WET Magnus Member ✭✭

    Hi Mike,

    I know this thread is old, I do understand most of what you are saying but have questions.

    Is Starlink restricting this in only one direction or in both directions?

    What I mean is...

    Can my radio be on a connection with a regular fiber while I sit somewhere out on Starlink and connects to my radio?

    Or, the other way around?

    Or neither?

    Is there a possible fix for the future?


  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    As Mike said above, basically no. Smartlink won’t work with the configuration of starlink.

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Magnus, I believe that you can remote in from a Starlink network, but the rig itself must not be on a CGNAT network like Starlink.

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
  • wa6dkn
    wa6dkn Member ✭✭
    Anything new on Starlink I just got my invitation to join Starlink as it has become available in my area. I don't have access to cable in my area and Starlink is awful attractive to me. Is there anyway to use Starlink with the Flex remotely?
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Unless they stop using Carrier Grade NAT, the answer is not really. I discuss it in this white paper.

    Starlink and CGNAT

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